Hanleni halsen (introduction)

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Nik Taylor

Wafkassissái waflássyasai pifnattáidu yánisnav
Lusnaváutasva wazunípaka líwanal piflítilwai
Ku liizlutátasva wasakátiv laláaka wabiikadíz
Zi kláitasva-bu sutakí zibútasva waniilástaz?

Birds' songs concerning important events
The Heron washes its clothes in the dew
And the Lark worships the sky in the evening.
But does anyone exist who understands birdhood?

Waf-kassissá-i waf-lássyasa-i   pif-nattá-i-du
G6Pl-song-Pl   G6Pl-of.birds-Pl G7Pl-event-Pl-ELL


Birds' songs concerning important events
("events that are important")

Lu-s-naváu-tas-va        wa-zu-nípa-ka   l-íwan-al
Cause-be-clean-3SRat-Hab G6-Dim-water-In G5-heron-Erg


"Little water" means "dew"

The Heron washes its clothes in the dew ("in the little water")

Ku  lizlutá-tas-va    wa-sakáti-v    la-láka wa-bikadí-z
And worship-3SRat-Hab G6-evening-Loc G5-lark G6-sky-DAT

And the Lark worships the sky (literally: "place of the sun") in the evening.

Zi  klái-tas-va-bu          su-takí  zibú-tas-va
But live-3SRat-Hab-Question G3-being understand-3SRat-Hab


ni- is roughly equivalent to English -ness.

But does anyone exist who understands birdhood?
(I should probably have glossed _klái_ as "live, exist")


Apostrophe before a syllable indicates high pitch, periods indicate syllable-divisions.

Wafkassissái waflássyasai pifnattáidu yánisnav
[wAf.kA.S:i's:aj wA'fla'S:a'saj pef.na't:aj'du 'jA.neS.nav]

Lusnaváutasva wazunípaka líwanal piflítilwai
[los.na'vAw'tas'vA wA.zu'ni'pA'kA 'li.wA.nal pi'fli'tSi'lwaj]

Ku lizlutátasva wasakátiv laláka wabikadíz
[ku li.zru'ta'tas'vA wA.sa'kA'tSev la'la'kA wA.bi.kA'deZ]

Zi kláitasva-bu sutakí zibútasva wanilástaz?
[Zi 'klaj.tas.vA.bu su.ta'Ci Zi'bu'tas'vA wA.ni'las'taz]

[C] = voiceless palatal fricative

Some brief notes: the fourth line was modified to fit into the normal poetic pattern of Watakassí, which is four lines of four "major words" (words that contain an accent). In a less poetic translation, the last line would've been something like: Zi zibútasva subaa waniilástaz? (note: one change was making ni- into nii-), which contains only two major words. (Lit: But understands who birdhood?), so I changed the minor word subaa (who?) into the two major word phrase kláitasva-bu sutakí (does anyone exist?)


G# = Gender#
Pl = Plural
S = Singular
ELL = Ellative, in the only occurrence of it herein, it's used to indicate "concerning"
Irr = Irrational (non-sentient)
Hab = Habitual
Rat = Rational (sentient; human/divine, the birds are being personified herein)
Dim = Diminutive
In = Inessive (in)
Erg = Ergative
DAT = Dative

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© Irina Rempt, Nik Taylor 23-06-1999